Tips on approaching a VC about an internship or job

Recently I have been approached by people looking for an internship or job with our firm. We’re not hiring or looking for interns right now but a few things jumped out at me about the methods that were used to reach me.images1

Most people who contacted me sent a blind email having found my email address on our firm website. Also, almost everyone sent a generic cover letter that was not customized.

Now, I did read and reply to each of these inquiries, but my guess is that many VCs (and I’m speaking from experience when I was looking for a job in VC over the last year) would not answer this ‘cold call’ email.

So if I were looking for a VC job, what could I do to improve my chances of getting a meeting with the VC about potential internships or jobs? Some thoughts…

  • Use LinkedIn to find someone in your network who may know the VC you’d like to reach.
  • If you have no other way to reach the VC except through a blind email, take time to customize your cover letter pitch to the firm (or the person at the firm) you’re targeting.
  • Talk to me about some interesting companies in spaces our firm might be interested in and offer to connect me with them.
  • Don’t ask for a job or an internship – ask for advice. If you ask me if I am hiring and I’m not, I will probably say “we’re not hiring” versus if you ask me “can you talk to me about careers in VC, I want to learn” I’m more apt to engage in a dialog (and I don’t think I’m unique in that respect amongst VCs).

If you’ve had some success reaching VCs to discuss jobs or internships, what has worked for you?

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1 comment
  1. I could not agree more with what you said. When I worked in banking I only responded to emails from people who 1. had some form of connection with me (school, fiend or client) and 2. had put some thought into what they were asking for or had something interesting to say. If you don’t have seem type of connection you can leverage or something interesting to say it is not worth making the cold call. If you want to make a cold call work, try explaining what you can do to add value (make intros to interesting companies, etc) or why it is worth the VC’s time to talk to you.

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